Tottenham War Services Institute

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Tottenham War Services Institute
Community Venue: 2016: T. Chances: Can't Kill a Dream (mural by OWED)
Mural at TWSI, by OWED, 2016
Founded12 October 1920; 98 years ago (1920-10-12)
FoundersWilliam Henry Prescott, Patrick Bernard Malone, et al
TypeCharitable Trust
Registration no.217176
Coordinates51°35′23.7″N 0°04′14.5″W / 51.589917°N 0.070694°W / 51.589917; -0.070694Coordinates: 51°35′23.7″N 0°04′14.5″W / 51.589917°N 0.070694°W / 51.589917; -0.070694
Area served
Tottenham and North East London
Key people
Penelope Ann Potter (Chair), Sedleigh Seon Adams (Secretary), Mark Edward Creathorne (aka Mark Windows),[1] Bruce McCrorie, and Samuel Cox

The Tottenham War Services Institute (TWSI) was founded by a deed of trust in 1920,[2][3] granting the TWSI charitable ownership of 399-401 Tottenham High Road. Built in the late 18th century as a pair of houses constructed with brick and a stone-coped parapet, each comprising 3 storeys and a basement, it is now one building that was listed as a Grade II listed building on 10 May 1974.[4][5]


The TWSI is a registered charity,[6][7][8] entrusted to use its property "as an Institute providing for the use of its members the means of social intercourse, mutual helpfulness, mental and moral improvement, rational recreation, and the other advantages of a Club" for ex-servicemen, their families, and vulnerable members of the wider community.[9][10]

The TWSI is currently the subject of insolvency proceedings, brought against them by the London Borough of Haringey, for unpaid business rates going back to 2013.[11][12]


Photograph of 399 Tottenham High Road, London, N17 6QN, United Kingdom

For many decades until 2008, the building was a British Legion club. Fire destroyed much of the property on 13th October 1987, and the rebuilt structure was reopened on 14th April 1989. From 1995 to 2012, the building's top floors housed an annex of the nearby Tottenham police station. The top floors are now home to the Footsteps Vocational Academy (a Pupil Referral Unit), and until April 2017, the Note By Note Music Academy.[13] But it is most well known for housing the T. Chances community centre (formerly known as Tottenham Chances). Supported by the Reknaw sound system, T. Chances has gained a profile as one of London' major punk rock venues.[14][15]

Notable figures associated with T. Chances include musician Captain Rizz and poet/musician Xochitl Tuck, who ran regular Survivors Poetry nights at the venue until her death in 2012.[16] In August 2017. Previous TWSI trustees include property developer Angelique Eva Glata[17], and former TWSI treasurer Tara Bedbrook.

In the media[edit]

Penny Potter has given several interviews discussing the charity.[18][19][20][21]

Angelique Glata is featured in a BBC Radio 4 broadcast called "The Hidden Homeless".[22]

The TWSI's property was a topic of discussion in a 16 July 2009 meeting of the Haringey Council.[23]

The local community's struggle in 2017-2018 to keep property developers from buying up the community centre run by the TWSI is documented in Libcom and in the newspaper of the Revolutionary Communist Group.[24][25]

Key documents[edit]


  1. ^ "Mark Windows". Deleted Wiki. 18 August 2017. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  2. ^ "Original 1920 Deed of Trust, TWSI". Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  3. ^ "1920 Deed of Trust, TWSI (transcription, 1950)". Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  4. ^ "London Borough of Haringey: Statutory Listed Buildings" (PDF). Haringey Council. 20 September 2011. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  5. ^ "The British Legion Club". Historic England. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
  6. ^ "TWSI Charity Commission overview". Charity Commission for England and Wales. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  7. ^ "TWSI Charity Commission data". Retrieved 27 August 2017.
  8. ^ "Tottenham War Services Institute webpage". TWSI. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  9. ^ "Original 1920 Deed of Trust, TWSI". Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  10. ^ "1920 Deed of Trust, TWSI (transcription, 1950)". Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  11. ^ "Petitions to Wind Up (Companies)". The London Gazette. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  12. ^ "Winding Up Petition: Tottenham War Services Institute". Internet Archive. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  13. ^ Katko, Justin (May 2017). "Intuitive Tuition at Note By Note" (PDF). Tottenham Community Press. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  14. ^ Hutchcraft, Jak (10 March 2017). "There's a Polish Punk Scene in London and It's Thriving". Noisey (Vice). Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  15. ^ Hall, Makky (29 April 2015). "Turnstile - T. Chances, London". Broken Arrow Magazine. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  16. ^ Potter, Penny (2013). "Xochitl Tuck – Last of the Beatniks" (PDF). Survivors Poetry newsletter. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  17. ^ "Brighton and Hove City Council Emergency Accommodation Provider Accused Of Fraud". Only Brighton. 1 February 2018. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
  18. ^ Potter, Penny (February 2013). "Interview, Collective Impact Films". Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  19. ^ Potter, Penny (February 2016). "Interview, Chainbreaker Records podcast #006". Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  20. ^ Potter, Penny (2016). "Interview, Windows on the World". Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  21. ^ Youle, Emma (24 February 2011). "Tottenham poster of guillotine over blood-stained royals causes outrage". Tottenham & Wood Green Journal. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  22. ^ Cox, Simon (1 November 2016). The Hidden Homeless (PDF). BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  23. ^ "Meeting minutes". Haringey Council. 19 July 2009. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  24. ^ Harman, Mike (5 December 2017). "The Battle for T. Chances: property developers threaten North London community space". Libcom. Archived from the original on 7 December 2017. Retrieved 6 December 2017.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  25. ^ "Save T. Chances". Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!. 26 April 2018. Retrieved 11 May 2018.